When I picked the name of my wordpress blog I was sitting at my desk deep in thought about what to name it. I let my eyes roam around the office and they settled on a button pin a friend had sent me in a birthday card. The card was a dig at aging of course and the button read “I Survived Damn Near Everything”. It was perfect so I went with it.
We are all survivors of something. No ones skips through this life without surviving an event, a disease, a bad marriage, death of a loved one, whatever – we have all survived.
Yesterday I watched the first interviews of the young men and women 10 years after the shootings at Columbine. Columbine is not an event I have thought about recently, other events have happened that pushed that tragedy into the background.
I listened in amazement to the young adults I saw interviewed. Patrick Ireland, the young man who after being shot twice in the head and once in the foot, crawled out the window of the library to the waiting paramedics states now “I choose to be a victor rather than a victim.”
He is a success story with his attitude. You cannot heal until you forgive. You forgive people, events whatever for yourself, not for anyone else.
I had to forgive my body for trying to kill me 16 years ago. I had to forgive the 14 year old boy in the hood in Miami who was part of the duo that tried a smash and grab on me at gun point. I forgave him so I could move on-he was a product of his own environment. I forgave E. Baxter Lemmond for being a physically and emotionally abusive man-that was a tough one. A husband is not supposed to knock you down or choke you. In forgiving him I was free to find a decent good man.
These are examples of surviving and forgiving. I told Larry, the good and decent husband to forgive his ex-wife who was trying so hard to ruin him financially to forgive her (for himself) and move on. Holding onto ugly feelings and memories serves you know purpose. What it does do is block good things from happening, When you are holding on to anger your heart is not open to the many blessings that are passing you by almost daily.
Forgiveness is a powerful weapon. I was verbally attacked at the end of the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk a couple summers ago by our team captain. She is not a happy person to begin with and when she unloaded I got the barrage of her anger like darts being thrown at me. I took that anger with me to California on vacation, carried it back here and continued to allow it to upset my life. Finally one day I emailed her and told her that I forgave her for her horrible words not to let her off the hook at all, it was wrong of her but she could now own it. I did not hear back – I would not have opened the email if she had responded. Mama didn’t raise no fool!
If you have been lucky enough to see the Columbine interviews today you have seen excellent examples of how forgiveness has made them better people and they are providing an incredible example of the courage of survival and forgiveness.
Surviving and forgiving – an ongoing circle of our lives.